Vincenzo Agnetti

24 Mar — 27 May 2017 at the Osart Gallery in Milan, Italy

Vincenzo Agnetti, Frammento di Tavola di Dario tradotta in tutte le lingue, 1973. Fotografia e scrittura, 50 x 109 cm. Courtesy of Osart Gallery
Vincenzo Agnetti, Frammento di Tavola di Dario tradotta in tutte le lingue, 1973. Fotografia e scrittura, 50 x 109 cm. Courtesy of Osart Gallery
25 MAR 2017

Osart Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of the new venue in Corso Plebisciti 12 in Milan with a solo show dedicated to Vincenzo Agnetti called Beyond Language. The aim of the exhibition is to analyze the photographic production by Vincenzo Agnetti with a selection of works produced between 1973 and 1976 that best represent the conceptual approach of the artist.

The selected works feature a remarkable curriculum that boasts exhibitions in world-famous public and private institutions – Alessandra Castelli Gallery (Immagine di una mostra, 1974), Feldman Gallery, New York (Image of an Exhibition, 1975), MART Museum, Rovereto (Vincenzo Agnetti, 2008) and exhibitions that have drawn new boundaries within the historical and artistic scenario such as Contemporanea (1973), Combattimento per un'immagine (1973) and Fotomedia (1974). The exhibition explores the artist's modus operandi taking a hard look on the practical relevance of Agnetti's conceptual interventions.

Flags and numbers in Project for a Political Hamlet (Progetto per un Amleto Politico, 1973) as in Discourse n°2 (Discorso n°5, 1974) “are the gears of a triggered device that dismiss significance”. Along with Fragments of Works by Darius (Frammento di Tavola di Dario, 1973), all these works can be connected to the following mechanism: translation, reset and reduction. Language, according to Agnetti, is ambiguous for its own nature, for this reason it is necessary to translate it and reduced it to numbers. The result is therefore a zeroing of the concepts in favor of a new linguistic structure with specific inflection that finds its phonological support in numbers. In the paper version of the famous Self Phone Call (Autotelefonata, 1974), where very litlle passport photos portraits Agnetti in the act to call himself, language is again at the centre.

In the work-performance Please find enclosed a 30-minute audiotape tape (In allegato vi trasmetto un audiotape della durata di 30 minuti, 1973) in addition to the practice of translation and reduction, he also add the operation Agnetti himself defines defines static theatre, which has its most representive work in Elizabeth of England (1976). There are no spectators and no text, the viewer must put on stage his thoughts.

Identikit (1973) and Average Age of A (L'età media di A.,1973-1974) study, in a suggestive dialogue bewteen past and future, the concept of portrait in its relation with time. On one hand, Average Age of A thanks to images taken from A's lifetime, identifies her right placement over time. On the other Identikit outlines, by inference, physical and cultural traits of X2, a hypothetical person who will live in 2073.

The extraordinary installation Pantheistic Project (1973) focuses on another important issue for Agnetti: nature. As the title of this work can suggest, in this photo sequence we can observe a graphic sign, slowly turning in order to build the shape of a leaf. This process is accompanied by a text that gives us the chance to think very carefully on the universal human - nature relation.

In the Entire History of Art (Tutta la Storia dell'Arte, 1973) Agnetti provocatively summarizes his vision of art through the use of three images, two of them refer to the archaic and classical period and an unusual one represents the contemporary.

This photographic analysis ends with a careful consideration on the relationship between medium and message. In Free - hand photograph (Fotografia a mano libera,1974) the artist uses the interrupted process to obtain paradoxical pictures, which are independent from the camera and from the external object being photographed. This cutting-edge intervention takes the name of Free- hand photograph.

The solo show displays how Agnetti, thanks to the photographic medium, has approached different issues with the desire to go beyond language making the viewer thinking about and interacting with the works themselves.